The mobile business hasn’t been very nice to Microsoft in the past few years; Microsoft sold off the very expensive Nokia brand – which, by the way, is making a comeback in 2017 – and then decided to sell off the remaining Lumia devices as fast as it could get rid of them.
Microsoft, however, still develops Windows 10 Mobile – the 3rd largest mobile operating system by market share, however insignificant that share may be.
Google, of course, is the first; most of the devices we are going to see at MWC 2017 are going to be powered by Google’s Android, but Google and its partners focus on the mass consumer market – Microsoft, at least right now, isn’t doing that.
The Mobile World Congress isn’t just an event for the mobile device makers – it’s an event for everyone; from Corning who makes the Gorilla Glass on your phone, to Foxconn who assembles your phone, to the massive company that gets to put its logo on the phone a la Samsung, LG, and others; all are present at MWC.
Of course, when the suits from an entire hardware production line are going to an event – the software folks must accompany them. MWC is also a massive event for cellular operators around the world, who get together to discussed standards; this year, RCS is going to be a big thing.
And what event could be complete with the people who make all that hardware work together? Google, and Microsoft both show up at MWC often enough; Apple, however, keeps its distance from industry events.
Microsoft’s sudden appearance
Windows 10 Mobile isn’t doing very well, and Microsoft isn’t exactly making any new phones – at least not officially; so while the rumors suggested that Microsoft would have a presence at MWC, there was nothing official to back it up.
Now, Microsoft seems to have created a one-time for-purpose website to set-up meetings with other major industry players that would be present at MWC.
‘Could it be the Surface Phone?‘ is the first question that pops up in the head. However, the answer is: probably not. The website is clearly for arranging meetings with other business partners – perhaps OEMs that Microsoft could sell Windows 10 Mobile to, by showing them what it has been working on behind the curtains.
The rumors from last month suggest that HP might show up at MWC with a mid-tier Windows 10 Mobile phone; the probability of that happening is higher than the appearance of a wild Surface Phone, though the rumors don’t refrain from suggesting that either.
Feb to March in Barcelona
The 2017 Mobile World Congress is from 27th of February to 2nd of March; as always, it will be in the beautiful city of Barcelona, Spain.
It’s hard to figure out what we are going to see from Microsoft in 2017 when it comes to mobile – Microsoft is keeping its cards hidden, waiting for the right time to make its move; it sure is exciting, though.